The nutritional and health value of canned foods has been largely underestimated for many years and even today the average consumer believes that the essential elements in food are lost in the canning process and no longer correspond to the fresh produce available on the local market. In reality, canned food contains a high nutritional value.
The quality of food which is destined for can processing is strictly controlled to maintain freshness. More so, in fact, than the majority of??fresh??foods which are stocked and supplied using the usual distribution channels. The delay between the harvesting, transport and processing of canned foods is extremely short, in most cases less than 2 hours, and is one of the principal reasons why they maintain such a high nutritional value.
Vitamins are extremely sensitive to oxidization, light and high temperatures. It is a well known fact that asparagus can loose up to 40% of its vitamin C within just 24 hours of storage, spinach 30% and green beans 20%. Studies at the Cornell University of Ithaka, New York, have shown that with the short, high temperature heating used in modern food production processes by the canner, the nutritional value is in fact improved. In the case of tomatoes and corn on the cob, lycopenes, a secondary plant material, are released at high temperature and these play an important role in our metabolism, as an antioxidant against carcinogenic free radicals. The vitamin C loss is considerably less than in normal home cooking and an independent study (see page 6 – “Initiative Lebensmitteldose” ILD) at the Faculty of Ecotrophology in?M?nchengladbach?(Germany) shows that the A, B and E group vitamins, including folic acid, are preserved, together with carbohydrates, proteins and fatty acids.
Using innovative steel food can designs and manufacturing know-how, canned foods have made their mark in a world which is more and more sensitive to security, health and nutrition. Sophisticated food processing technologies and efficient thermic transfer during the shortest possible time frame ensures a precise control of retorting??temperatures (i.e. sterilisation) and maintains consistent high standards of quality to meet today’s critical consumer demands. Furthermore, canned foods are protected from light and oxidization, and when stored at room temperatures less that 20°C, will preserve their vitamins for at least 2 years without high energy consuming refrigeration